LSM Newswire

Monday, June 23, 2008

Simone Dinnerstein in The Berlin Concert on Telarc - August 26


"The Berlin Concert"

Recorded live at the Berlin Philharmonie

on November 22, 2007 (CD-80715)

Release Date: Aug. 26, 2008


J. S. Bach: French Suite No. 5 in G major, BWV 816

Philip Lasser: Variations on a Bach Chorale*

Beethoven: Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111

*world premiere recording

Select tracks now available to download

FREE of charge at

Praise for Ms. Dinnerstein's TELARC recording of

Bach's Goldberg Variations, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Classical Chart:

Named as one of the Best Classical CDs of 2007 by The New York Times, The New Yorker, Time Out New York, and more

"elegant and assured" – The New Yorker

"... a distinctive approach to the work: colorful and idiosyncratic..." – The New York Times

"a timeless, meditative, utterly audacious solo debut" – O, The Oprah Magazine

New York, NY¬óAmerican pianist Simone Dinnerstein will release her second album on Telarc, The Berlin Concert (CD-80715), on August 26 worldwide. The CD is a live recording of Ms. Dinnerstein's recital debut at the Kammermusiksaal of the Philharmonie in Berlin, which took place on November 22, 2007. The program features J.S. Bach's French Suite No. 5 in G major, BWV 816; the world premiere recording of American composer Philip Lasser's Variations on a Bach Chorale; and Beethoven's landmark Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111. Grammy Award-winning engineer Adam Abeshouse is the producer for the CD.

Ms. Dinnerstein chose this program because of how the pieces speak to each other, and because of their relationship to the music of Bach. She explains, "My hope with this concert was to program a group of pieces that would contrast with and relate to each other, despite being separated by hundreds of years. So much music written since Bach has been influenced by him, and the Beethoven and the Lasser recorded here are no exceptions. Philip Lasser's variations on the very dark Bach chorale, Nimm von uns, Herr, du treuer Gott (Take from us, Lord, Thou faithful God), draw on Bach's intense and meditative side. Lasser's writing is intricately crafted and encompasses a range of styles, from a contrapuntal energy reminiscent of Bach, to French Impressionism and even jazz. Beethoven's Opus 111 sounds surprisingly contemporary in this company. The first movement looks ahead to Liszt and the second movement, with its set of variations on a chorale-like arietta, looks back to Bach and ahead to jazz. All three works are densely layered, but also have a sense of freedom and directness of expression. Though they span almost 300 years, in many ways, to me, they each feel grounded in the present."

Of The Berlin Concert CD, International Piano raves, "Dinnerstein's subtly-inflected tonal purity and exquisite dynamic suppleness impart a sense of concentrated musical inevitability to the Bach French Suite rivalled only in my experience by Dinu Lipatti's incandescent reading of the B flat Partita. . . The Gigue finale is not only touch-perfect (how does she create such an exquisite, velvety staccato?) but also so mellifluously voiced and immaculately balanced that it is difficult to imagine the music being played with a more complete grasp of every parameter. . . Most remarkably of all one has the extraordinary sense of Beethoven's epic structures (particularly the theme and variations finale) not so much unravelling in time but emerging as one coexistent whole."

Ms. Dinnerstein has gained an international following because of the remarkable success of her recording of the Goldberg Variations, released on Telarc in August 2007. The album, which was Ms. Dinnerstein's solo CD debut, earned the No. 1 spot on the US Billboard Classical Chart during its first week of sales and has remained highly ranked since then. In recent months, she has been featured in Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine, Classic FM Magazine, The New York Times,, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Guardian, and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, among others, and has appeared on radio programs including BBC Radio 3's In Tune, NPR's Morning Edition, Public Radio International's Studio 360, American Public Media's Performance Today, Minnesota Public Radio, as part of the news on SIRIUS Satellite Radio's The Howard Stern Show, and on national television in Germany.

In today's classical music and recording industry climate, it is rare that a debut album from a relatively little known artist generates such an enthusiastic response from the public and the media. The New York Times chose the disc as one of the Best CDs of 2007, describing it with, "An utterly distinctive voice in the forest of Bach interpretation, Ms. Dinnerstein brings her own pianistic expressivity to the "Goldberg" Variations, probing each variation as if it were something completely new." raved, "Dinnerstein is a throwback to such high priestesses of music as Wanda Landowska and Myra Hess . . . [She] is touring. Go hear her, and get religion. And if you can't, there's always the record." Piano Magazine called the disc, "precisely the kind of playing that the early 21st century most needs, infused as it is with a deep and pervasive sense of beauty and tenderness of heart which is often profoundly affecting."

In addition to her debut in Berlin, during the 2007-2008 concert season, Ms. Dinnerstein gave debut recitals at London's Wigmore Hall and at the National Philharmonic Hall in Vilnius. She toured with the Dresden Philharmonic under Rafael Frˆºhbeck de Burgos and with the Czech Philharmonic under Leo¬ö Svˆ°rovskˆ‡. Ms. Dinnerstein and cellist Zuill Bailey performed the complete Beethoven Sonatas at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in October, and repeated the program at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, in late April. She made her debut in San Francisco in May, and will debut at the Aspen Music Festival in July and at the Ravinia Festival in August performing the Goldberg Variations. Highlights of Ms. Dinnerstein's 2008-2009 season include debuts in Bremen, and at the Stuttgart Bach Festival, and performances with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, and Kristjan Jˆ§rvi's Absolute Ensemble. In the spring of 2009, she will make her recital debut at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

Since 1996 Ms. Dinnerstein has played concerts throughout the United States for the Piatigorsky Foundation, an organization dedicated to bringing classical music to non-traditional venues. Amongst the places she has played are nursing homes, schools and community centers. Most notably, Ms. Dinnerstein gave the first classical music performance in the Louisiana state prison system when she played at the Avoyelles Correctional Center.

At Juilliard, Ms. Dinnerstein was a student of Peter Serkin. She also studied with Solomon Mikowsky at the Manhattan School of Music and in London with Maria Curcio, the distinguished pupil of Artur Schnabel. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and son. Simone Dinnerstein records exclusively for Telarc International. She is represented worldwide by Tanja Dorn at IMG Artists. For more information, please visit

Philip Lasser (b. 1963, New York City) began his formal composition studies at Nadia Boulanger's Ecole d'Arts Americaines in Fontainebleau, France. After graduating from Harvard College, Philip Lasser continued studies in Paris with Boulanger's closest disciple, Narcis Bonet. He later received a master's degree in composition from Columbia University and his doctorate from The Juilliard School, where his principal teacher was David Diamond. Lasser's recent book, The Spiraling Tapestry: An inquiry into the Contrapuntal Fabric of Music offers a pioneering view on Bach's compositional world. Philip Lasser directs the European American Musical Alliance's Summer Music Programs in Paris, offering musical studies in the tradition of Nadia Boulanger. Since 1994, he has been a distinguished member of the faculty at The Juilliard School.

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